The $160,000 Festival Stakes will highlight a great day of racing at Rosehill this Saturday. We preview each race and give you our tips and bets.
RACE 1 – 1:15PM – Sky Racing Active Handicap (1100m)
Another race full of two-year-old debutants will launch Saturday’s card at Rosehill Gardens and when markets opened, the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Muntaseera was the firm favourite in betting.
I’m happy to stay out of this one from a betting perspective and wait until Race 2.
Suggested Bet: No Bet
RACE 2 – 1:50PM – Highway Handicap (1200m)
Cassy’s Sister has returned some pleasing efforts and results this campaign and looks the horse to beat in the first of two Highway races on Festival Stakes Day. The Excelebration filly finished second in fair company at Wyong when resuming, before comfortably winning in Class 2 company at Coonamble. Her last-start effort at Hawkesbury was fair, and I like that she’s trialled in the lead up to this race.
Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Cassy’s Sister
RACE 3 – 2:25PM – Highway Handicap (1200m)
Princess Cordelia has been a model of consistency this campaign and looms as a live chance of winning the second Highway race. The Mitch Beer-trained mare hasn’t missed a place at her last four appearances and recorded a smart win in Class 1 company at Wagga two back, before running a close-up second at Gundagai last time out. This is clearly her toughest task to date, but she has the appropriate runs on the board and has options from the rails draw.
Suggested Bet: 1 Unit E/W Princess Cordelia
RACE 4 – 3:00PM – John R. Turk Shop Online Handicap (1300m)
Jen Rules is yet to show her best form this preparation, but she’s stripped fitter for two starts and does look ready to do something third-up at a price on Saturday ($10 at publish). The Team Snowden-trained mare has finished midfield in each start since resuming, but the small rise in trip here will suit and does have a class edge over several of these. I’ll be happy to have something small on each-way.
Suggested Bet: 1 Unit E/W Jen Rules
RACE 5 – 3:40PM – Ranvet Handicap (1100m)
Mansa Musa will need some luck in running from the outside barrier, but he returned to the races an impressive winner on the Kensington course at Randwick and has plenty of scope for improvement. The Snitzel gelding has recorded three wins from his six career starts and has been competitive in black type company previously. This does look the next logical race for him and I can’t find a reason why he won’t be in the finish again.
Suggested Bet: 2 Units Mansa Musa
RACE 6 – 4:20PM – Listed ATC Cup (2000m)
Morton’s Fork has been a consistent performer since transferring to the care of Richard Litt and looks a live each-way chance of winning the ATC Cup. The former Godolphin gelding has placed in three of his last four starts, including the Port Macquarie Cup over this trip, and was last seen finishing fourth in the Rosehill Cup. He’s rock-hard fit and is ready to win.
Suggested Bet: 1.5 Units E/W Morton’s Fork
RACE 7 – 5:00PM – Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m)
Ranier has returned several pleasing efforts this campaign and the Festival Stakes looks an ideal black type race for him. The four-year-old son of Lonhro beat a handy field to the line off a freshen-up at Rosehill in late September and has finished fourth in the Spring Mile and second behind Mandela Effect over a mile at Flemington at his two most-recent appearances. He’s rock-hard fit, has options from the rails draw and is weighted to win.
Invincible Gem clearly required the run when she faded to finish six lengths off the winner in The Hunter when resuming, but she’ll enjoy good improvement from that effort and is over the odds in Festival Stakes betting ($21 at publish). The multiple black type winner looked excellent in early spring; placing in both the Group 2 Missile and Group 1 Winx Stakes most notably.
Suggested Bet: 2 Units Ranier
Suggested Bet: 0.5 Units E/W Invincible Gem
RACE 8 – 5:40PM – Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m)
Sandbar will carry winning form into the Starlight Stakes and will only improve third-up. The Snitzel entire returned from a long spell in the talent-rich Sydney Stakes, which was quite clearly far too lofty a target, but produced a strong performance to win in BM88 company at this track and distance last time out. Trainer Brad Widdup has elected to run the horse in this race rather than head to Brisbane for the George Moore Stakes and it looks a nice race for him.
Suggested Bet: 2 Units E/W Sandbar
RACE 9 – 6:15PM – Mick Crook Memorial Handicap (1500m)
This is a tough way to end Festival Stakes Day from a betting perspective, but Orcein has been continuing to improve with racing this time and looms as a live chance here. The Chris Waller-trained gelding ran third on the Kensington course at Randwick two back before finishing an agonizingly-close second in BM70 company here last time out and while he does face a small rise in class, he’s drawn to receive a lovely run and is weighted to win.
Suggested Bet: 1 Unit E/W Orcein